If you feel the need to punish yourself, this is the ride. There is really no other reason in the world to climb this trail. Oh yeah, it does offer some stellar views of Bishop and the Eastern Sierras… as well as the “sense of accomplishment” factor that has to be equated with any ride that kicks your ass and then some. With a starting elevation of 4,000′ at the valley floor, and 10,800′ up top – this is a 23 mile-out-and-back that will work your legs to Cosby’s “Jello”. The downhill only version of this ride was the original “Ultimate Kamikaze” race before they moved it to Mammoth Mountain- so fyi, be careful on the FAST descent, especially after you’re fatigued from the up. You’ve been warned.
Silver Canyon is located just out of Bishop, off the 168. Park your car at Laws Museum (check out the museum if you have time… pretty interesting if you’re into local history, railroads, or both)… and just start riding up Silver Canyon Rd. When you reach White Mountains Rd. turn around and come back- one of the simplest out and backs you’ll find. You get a nice little warmup for the first couple miles… which you’ll need. After that, grunting and groaning up the relentless fire road ensues. I’ll be honest. I didn’t do the whole ride. I was passing through Bishop, and decided to give it a whirl. I was geared way too steep for a sustained climb of this length (33:17) – so I called it about 2/3 of the way up. “I’ll be back” like Arnold (but without banging my stankonia maid and knocking her up) – to do the whole ride- probably with 33:21 gearing.
here’s the garmin link to my ride stats… http://connect.garmin.com/activity/125448774